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HindustanTimes Tue,22 Jul 2014

2G: Anil Ambani, wife Tina to appear as witnesses

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 19, 2013
First Published: 16:05 IST(19/7/2013) | Last Updated: 01:46 IST(20/7/2013)

The Delhi court hearing the 2G spectrum case on Friday allowed CBI’s plea for summoning Reliance ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani and his wife Tina as prosecution witnesses.

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Special CBI judge OP Saini found merit in the CBI’s request and said the deposition of Ambani, Tina and 11 other witness was “essential for arriving at a just decision” in the case.

CBI had said their testimony may “throw light” on alleged investment of over Rs. 990 crores by Reliance ADA group companies in Swan Telecom, facing trial in the case.

The judge said testimony of Anil and Tina is required to prove the facts "pertaining to incorporation of shell companies as some of the witnesses examined earlier have not been able to do so."

The court also noted that both Anil and Tina were holding responsible positions in Reliance ADAG, "shell companies" and their testimonies cannot be said to be totally unnecessary or unconnected with the case.

CBI had in its chargesheet alleged that Reliance ADAG group company Reliance Telecom ltd (RTL), an accused in the case,  used Swan Telecom, an ineligible firm, as its front company to get 2G licenses.

Three top Reliance ADAG executives—Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair—are an accused along with Swan Telecom  Promoters Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka.

“CBI’s plea to summon new witnesses at the fag end of  evidence stage is an attempt to fill up lacunae in the prosecution case”, Vijay Agarwal, lawyer for Balwa said adding he would challenge it before a higher court.

The judge said after going through the facts pertaining to incorporation of shell companies and investment or divestment made by the companies in detail he “found that witnesses already examined have failed to prove most of these facts for various reasons."

The court also said that it "do not wish to say anything more on the examination of earlier witnesses as this may amount to premature interpretation of the evidence."


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